Tuesday, January 29, 2019

I Ride with HART: Andrew Smith

Andrew Smith
Andrew Smith's other car is a bus, but that wasn't always the case.

"I grew up in Carrollwood, and I honestly didn't ride the bus while growing up in Tampa," said Smith during an interview on board the TECO Line Streetcar System. He described the first transit system he experienced many years ago in Atlanta while attending college and how he used it to get everywhere."

Smith, a trim man wearing a white shirt and a navy-blue suit, jokes about how his friends tease him for always being in a suit, became a dedicated bus and streetcar rider about two years ago.

Smith started off commuting just because he wanted to try transit and quickly discovered how much he enjoyed using the alternate mode of transportation. Smith's ride on HART allows him to answer emails, handle client's concerns, read, or take in the scenery. He enjoys not worrying about headaches that come with daily commuter traffic or the wear on his vehicle, plus the reduced time behind the wheel gives Smith family time later on in the day.

"I ride it to work a few times a week, that's kind of where I started, deciding that I was going to ride HART to work one day and now for me, it's trying to balance the schedule with what you need at the end of the day. It'll be a few times a week type of thing for me. Transportation looks different for everyone."

Another aspect of riding HART that Smith enjoys is the fantastic view of Tampa and the social environment on board a bus. He says you experience a city much differently through public transit. Being able to enjoy the view and take it all in makes a difference.

"The view sure is terrific on a HART bus. When you're out from behind the wheel, you can look out the windows beyond gridlock to see people, trees, and the beautiful Tampa skyline. The view inside a HART bus is pretty great too. It's clean and comfortable, with plenty of room to stretch out and breathe. Even better? It's filled with potential friends, professional connections, and neighbors.

When he's not answering a work email or talking to a client, he's getting connected with the community and making new friends. "You get to meet many people, people that you wouldn't normally have the pleasure of meeting. When I was going to work, I found that I would learn a little something about someone and the community they lived in."

Andrew also utilizes the TECO Line Streetcar
The friendly atmosphere on HART buses and the service's dependability came as a pleasant surprise, he said.

Since he started riding HART, Smith feels more relaxed and gets to enjoy all Tampa has to offer. He believes it is another opportunity to promote Tampa, especially to tourist. Every time friends and family are in town; he makes sure that they take HART and the TECO Line Streetcar to get around and experience the city. When you take public transit, you become a part of the city's mission, and he's happy that he's doing his part to reduce carbon emissions and traffic congestion.

Smith tries to always lead by example, and his advice to his friends and potential new riders is to give HART and transit a try. Once you become accustomed to riding public transit, the benefits of riding the bus become obvious. He hopes that as we continue to expand that public transportation will act as a catalyst for collaboration between communities.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments to this blog are moderated by HART staff. Constructive comments are welcome; any obscene, threatening, or otherwise inappropriate comments will be deleted before posting. Questions about specific service ("is my bus on time?") cannot be answered here, and should be directed to the HARTinfo Line at (813) 254-HART (4278). General questions may be addressed in future posts.